Spokane County still hangs on to Phase 3

SPOKANE, Wash. — Governor Jay Inslee announced Tuesday that no one is moving back to Phase 2 just yet—all the counties are staying where they are.

“Today I am announcing a two week pause on our phased reopening plan,” Inslee said.

News that comes as a surprise. Right now, Spokane County is failing two of the three metrics needed to stay in Phase 3.

Even with the pause, the governor says there are trends that show things may be heading in the right direction.

It all comes down to getting your shot. Right now, vaccination numbers are looking good, but they’re still not enough to get us to where we need to be.

“This is a good day for the Spokane community, for the state,” said Spokane Mayor Nadine Woodward.

A sigh of relief for people living in our community

“I’m very very encouraged. I talked to a lot of people here today and they are as well,” Woodward said.

Spokane County has been behind for the past few weeks, failing two of the three metrics needed to move forward with Phase 3.

We’re not alone. Pend Orielle, Stevens, Okanogan, Douglass, Adams and Grant County are also at risk for moving back to Phase 2.

Today, Gov. Inslee decided to put any movement on hold for two weeks.

“I have decided on this two week pause in consultation with our state department of health and experts because we are in a constantly evolving situation,” Inslee said.

Spokane county is at 280 cases per 100,000 residents in the last two weeks. Well above the state’s expected limit of 200.

“We’ve started to see sort of an erratic trend. We go up one day and then we come down,” said Dr. Francisco Velázquez, interim health officer for Spokane Regional Health District.

Velázquez says this two week window will give them time to get more people vaccinated, specifically those between the ages of 16 through 34.

As of right now, 40% of people ages 18 through 34 have at least had their first dose. More than 54 percent of Washingtonians have received at least one vaccine dose. 38 percent are fully vaccinated.

Yet local leaders are hopeful we’re headed in the right direction.

“Let’s just do our part and go out there and protect our communities and get vaccinated,” Woodward said.

As of right now, Gov. Inslee says there’s no clear path out of these phases as the situation is constantly evolving.

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